The California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined Amazon $5,901,700 for violations of a law designed to protect warehouse workers. Under the state AB-701 ActLarge companies are required to tell warehouse or distribution center workers in writing their expected quotas, including how often they must perform certain tasks, and what consequences they may face for failing to meet those quotas.

This law was a reaction to stories of Amazon workers who said they would skip bathroom breaks or risk injury in order to maximize their production. “The hardworking warehouse employees who have helped sustain us during these unprecedented times should not have to risk injury or face retribution as a result of exploitative quotas that violate health and safety basics,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. He said When he signed the bill in 2021.

According to the California Labor Commissioner, Amazon failed to meet these rules at two of its facilities in the cities of Moreno Valley and Redlands, where 59,017 violations were recorded during inspections conducted by the Labor Bureau. It is one of the first large fines imposed thanks to AB-701, which took effect in January 2022. The tech giant claimed that it does not need to provide written information because it uses a “peer-to-peer system.”

“The peer-to-peer system that Amazon was using in these two warehouses is exactly the type of system that the Warehouse Quota Act was designed to prevent,” Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brewer said in an official statement. statement. “Undeclared quotas put workers under increased pressure to work faster and can lead to higher injury rates and other abuses by forcing workers to skip rest periods.”

The state passed the bill AB701 in September 2021, chaired by State Assembly Representative Lorena Gonzalez. It was also part of the traffic California Bill AB-5 in 2019 to seek better protections for workers at companies like Uber and Lyft.

Amazon spokeswoman Maureen Lynch Vogel told Engadget that the company disagrees with the allegations in the citations and has already appealed the fines. “The truth is that we don’t have fixed quotas,” Vogel continued. “At Amazon, individual performance is evaluated over a long period of time, in relation to how the entire site team is performing. Employees can—and are encouraged—to review their performance whenever they want. They can always talk to a manager if they want to.” Having trouble finding a the information.”

Updated June 18, 2024 at 8:48 PM ET: We’ve updated the title of this post to correct the fine Amazon faces. We apologize for this error. We’ve also added a statement from Amazon.

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